Team McConnell shines through all

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Todd Salzman
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing command chief
Team McConnell - what a ride! For the past three years I have had the awesome opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with and help lead the finest, leaders, wingmen and warriors the Air Force has to offer.

Leaders, in three years, you have been challenged mightily and often! Be it Distinguished Visitor visits, inspections, exercises or an air show, you have shown incredible leadership. You worked long hours and weekends and gave up precious time with your family and friends, but you got it done. Through your efforts you moved more than 600 personnel and tons of equipment to Gulf Port, Miss. for an Operational Readiness Inspection and back again, and you did it superbly and with ease. Then during our recent Unit Compliance Inspection, you scored an "excellent" on the most challenging exercise seen by any Air Mobility Command base to date. That doesn't happen by accident - that happens through leadership ... your leadership.

Wingmen, I have always been amazed by your ability to pull together McConnell. No matter the circumstances - no matter the conditions, you are family. During my tenure, we lost some of our fellow Airmen and members of their families. You were always there to provide them support, no matter who it was, where they worked or what was going on in your life. Now that's service before self! You've continued to support Airmen Against Drunk Driving on your time and on your dime. You cared enough for your fellow Airmen to give up your weekends and holidays to ensure they made it home safely.

Warriors, Team McConnell you possessed our new warrior ethos well before it was written down. You have supported convoy operations as drivers and gunners in the military area of responsibility, jobs that Air Force members would have never been asked to do just five years ago! Through your actions, you made it possible for fellow warriors in our sister services to receive precious supplies to maintain their daily fight. McConnell aircrews continue to fly the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan directly supporting the efforts of our ground forces, again a task unheard of just a few years ago. Our maintainers and defenders have braved the heat, day-in and day-out, to keep our jets flying, defend our bases and ensure our security. Our support and medical warriors have deployed to locations all across the globe to ensure our Airmen were paid, fed, clothed, billeted and healthy. No matter what the job or the location, you were and are all warriors.

Team McConnell you are a unique group. You are unique because our senior leaders all across AMC, and the Air Force for that matter, know the great things you do. Why? Because you leave a lasting impression! Because McConnell Air Force Base is synonymous with excellence!

As I transition to my next assignment, it is indeed bittersweet. While I look forward to the exciting challenges that lay ahead, I will no longer be working side by side with you -
The very men and women who are getting things done, who lead at every opportunity, who care for those around them, and who are willing to sacrifice everything for something bigger than yourselves. It was absolutely my pleasure to serve you and serve with you, Team McConnell, and I will miss you all. Good luck and God bless.